Two years of preparation pays off with a milestone for the Lakewood Township Police Department, earning its Certificate of Accreditation from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP).

(l-r) Lakewood PD Capt. Tom Langenberger; Harry Delgado, NJSACOP; Chief Gregory Meyer; Detective Sgt. Jeannette Shimonovich; Sgt. Robert Shimonovich; Sgt. Peter LaRosa (Lakewood PD)

Accreditation signifies that the department meets NJSACOP's rigorous standards for policies and procedures, which apply to internal organization, operations, community relations, skills, efficiency, equipment, objectives, and accountability. The department keeps the status for three years.

Standards relate to life, health and safety concerns, legal and ethical requirements, and controlled exposure to risk. Inspectors examine the force's accepted degree of authority and concomitant use of force, training, investigative procedures, victim and witness assistance, prisoner facilities, record-keeping, and control of property and evidence.

The state organization reaches its decisions through a combination of inspection reports and public comment.

The designation carries several desirable outcomes, according to the Association, including enhanced crime-fighting capabilities, community interaction, confidence and awareness of the roles and goals of officers, commitment to public safety programs.

NJSACOP also describes advantages for chiefs and top administrators to maintain streamlined, effective and consistent operations. Officers have assurance of equitable treatment that fosters high morale, which in turn improves community relations.

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